People: Change Of IP Guard At US, Australia Missions; IFPMA Readies New Leader07/05/2008 by Kaitlin Mara, Intellectual Property Watch Leave a CommentShare this Story:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)IP-Watch is a non-profit independent news service, and depends on subscriptions. To access all of our content, please subscribe now. You may also offer additional support with your subscription, or donate.By Kaitlin Mara and William New At the United States Mission in Geneva, David Morfesi is departing after nearly two years of service on trade-related intellectual property issues. Meanwhile, two new employees are joining the mission. Patent lawyer Nancy Omelko will be taking over his trade-related IP duties in early May, as a part of the US mission to the World Trade Organization. And US Patent and Trademark Office patent attorney Debbie Lashley-Johnson, also arriving in early May, will take over non-trade related IP issues at the US mission to the UN and specialised agencies. Lashley-Johnson is currently on assignment to the US State Department, and will join the Economic and Science Affairs office at the US mission to the UN. Lisa Carle will continue as counsellor for economic and science affairs until she departs in late July. Her eventual successor will continue as head of the section, with overall responsibility for IP and other economic and science issues, though Lashley-Johnson likely will take over a number of IP duties as IP attaché.Tegan Brink, second secretary at the Australian permanent mission to the WTO, is leaving. After 3 years in Geneva as Australia’s delegate on IP matters in WIPO and the WTO, she will be taking a year’s leave from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to undertake a Masters of Laws (LLM) at Columbia University in New York.Former US IP negotiator Jon Santamauro joined law firm Sidley Austin’s Washington, DC office in January. He previously served at the US Patent and Trademark Office and was a top US negotiator in Geneva. Santamauro was seen at the 28 April – 3 May WHO Intergovernmental Working Group on Health on Public Health, Innovation, and Intellectual Property representing the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO).Harvey Bale will retire as director general of the Geneva-based International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA) this summer, after serving as the organisation’s head for eleven years. As DG, Bale worked to strengthen regulatory capacity on pharmaceuticals in emerging economies, and to develop public-private partnerships on medicines and vaccines, IFPMA said in a release. Bale stated, “The industry will continue to face challenges, many of them we are familiar with, but new ones will undoubtedly also emerge. However, I am confident that I leave the IFPMA in better shape to face the many challenges ahead.” A search for his successor began in 2007, and a candidate appears to have been chosen but has not been announced. Unconfirmed rumours among industry were that the new leader might be Alicia Greenidge, a senior official at the US mission to the WTO in Geneva. Greenidge did not return requests for comment by presstime.After more than two years delay, the empty lot in front of the World Intellectual Property Organization is finally seeing some action, as construction has begun in earnest on WIPO’s new office building. Total cost for new construction is expected to be about 150 million Swiss francs ($144.4 million), with an expected project completion date of October 2010, according to WIPO. Swiss firm Implenia Entreprise Générale was chosen as general contractor, with a syndicate of two banks: Banque Cantonale de Genève and Banque Cantonale Vaudoise, providing part of the project’s financing. The new administrative building will comprise 560 work places, leading to the expected closure of other WIPO offices around Geneva.US think tank iGrowthGlobal has a new name and a new website, though it will retain its focus on information and communications technology and energy policy. Now the Technology Policy Institute, and newly located at www.techpolicyinstitute.org, it will undertake research in the economics and policy incentives of innovation. The organisation, headed by Tom Lenard, attempts to advice policymakers on how to incentivise the development of technologies to improve worldwide living standards.The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which oversees the domain name system, is looking to appoint an independent evaluator to determine if its board is fulfilling its purpose and if any change in structure or operations will improve its effectiveness. The review is likely to include “personal interviews, surveys, research and consultation with [ICANN] members” said the press release, as well as any other forms of research deemed important by the selected reviewer. The review is expected to commence in the second quarter of 2008. Meanwhile, ICANN’s Nominating Committee for 2008, which has been working since November 2007 to find qualified candidates for ICANN’s Board of Directors, At-Large Advisory Committee, and the Country Code Names and Generic Names Supporting Organization Councils, closed its nomination period on 15 April. Thirteen female and 65 male candidates submitted their names for consideration; their applications will be evaluated in the coming months, with the final selections to be announced in September 2008.The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) announced several promotions in its legal and anti-piracy departments. Kori Bernards, who has been working with MPAA’s public relations department for three years, will take over as senior vice president of communications, where she will work on education and copyright awareness and protection. Dan Robbins will become senior vice president and associate general council, where his legal focus will include intellectual property law, as well as technology and antitrust law. He will continue to serve as general council at MovieLabs, a movie industry collaboration dedicated to researching distribution methods and anti-piracy efforts as influenced by new technology. Mike Robinson, who joined MPAA’s anti-piracy department two years ago as vice president of US anti-piracy will now also take over anti-piracy management in Canada as senior vice president of North American anti-piracy operations. Ted Shapiro is a new senior vice president at the European, Middle East and Africa office, where he will manage copyright, internet, and digital technology issues.Have a people item to share? 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